Viral Marketing – A Good or Bad Practice?
Today the market where we deal every day is based on all forms of marketing and it is the most important aspect of any trade. The product value lies in its awareness among the masses which entails marketing of the product and thus, it is often said that any sort of marketing is good as long as the product value increases. Viral marketing is the newest method of marketing which uses pre-existing social networking services to create awareness of their product. There are different names synonymous with viral marketing such as viral advertising, buzz marketing, sheath marketing and guerilla marketing. It has been very widely observed that once a business is out of sight the people almost immediately forget about them as there is always another one to replace them. Thus, it is very important to stay on the top of the list for the customers to keep coming back to them. Also when a new business is launched it is of primary significance to make the masses aware of it and with the prevalence of internet the process has been simplified as well as magnified to a great extent. Although it is impossible to promote and spread the news about the venture by a single individual even if they work round the clock towards their goal. A single individual can barely create mass awareness in the realistic sense and thus, comes the use of viral marketing.
Use of Viral Marketing:
New business ventures usually invest in viral marketing extensively and in the process create electronic book or a computer software which contains the links to their venture and post it on the social media sites. The access of social media advertising is enormous and once the link is clicked by the users, they are automatically redirected to the venture which needs the promotion. The social media marketing plan usually involves the software program or ebook to be attached to the popular social media sites and then once the users access the site, the program or ebook get downloaded automatically. This ensures that the users get access to the promotional venture with no hassles and the spreads in such a way that it corresponds to the spread of a computer virus. Hence, this type of marketing is called as viral marketing and helps in a significant way with the promotion of businesses and ventures among the masses. Viral marketing has been useful in spreading awareness about many innovative and new trades which would have struggled a lot to get a foothold within the market in the absence of the promotion. There are also different types of viral marketing strategies such as ebooks, flash player programs, brand images, emails, etc. and the choice of strategy is determined by the brand or venture to be promoted and the social media engine being used. There are advantages and disadvantages of using this type of marketing and the results are variable with no guarantee of success.
Advantages of Viral Marketing:
As mentioned before, internet has made the world a small place and hence made it possible for businesses to be popular across continents. Therefore, the prime advantage of viral marketing is the huge access and awareness it creates for the brands and ventures which definitely helps with their popularity. The simple process of creating a software program or ebook which can spread the link to the venture and the enormous possibility of trade as a consequence to it is irreplaceable. There are also the benefit of the need for minimum effort with maximum results which is unique to viral marketing unlike other forms of marketing which entails efforts to huge extent with minimum results in comparison. There are the benefits of time and cost effectiveness of viral marketing which is unmatched and the ventures are also not directly responsible for any of the untoward incidents that occurs with the promotion as it is a chain reaction rather than individual response.
Disadvantages of Viral Marketing:
There are few disadvantages of viral marketing mainly with regards to the type of program associated with the program. As true for any computer program, there are a few people who enjoy attaching malicious programs in the form of viral marketing which result in the spread of actual computer viruses that affect the systems when customers download them. These incidents make a bad impression for the technique of viral marketing and create a skeptic atmosphere for the venture as well as the method of promotion. There is also the disadvantage that customers are not in direct contact with the venture or brand and thus, questions and doubts are raised about their genuineness and authenticity. There is a general consensus among the masses that ventures which adopt viral marketing are fraud and use this method to spread malicious software.
Viral marketing is new and different in approach that the conventional marketing techniques and thus, there is a need to create awareness among the general population about the method. The knowledge of the technique would help in understanding the benefits of the method and diminish the different disadvantages which are mainly the result of misinformation. Viral marketing is actually a blessing in disguise but there have to be improvements made in order to restrict certain section of the population from spreading malicious software using this method. This technique can be regarded as a good or bad practice depending on the perspective of the user.